He jumps into ocean rips just to see where they take him and thinks surf education should be mandatory in schools - especially in western Sydney.
Meet surf scientist Dr Rob Brander, a new resident of Stanwell Park who is better known to the outside world as Dr Rip.
Last month he was awarded the Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research, a reflection of his success in passing on the results of his pioneering rip-current research to large numbers of the beach-going public.
In NSW more than 25,000 people have heard his talks, many of them schoolchildren.
In December 2008 he released the YouTube video Don't Get Sucked In by the Rip, partly out of frustration and the lack of interest shown in his talks by principals of schools in Sydney's western suburbs.
"It's a hard sell to get into schools in the western suburbs," he said.
"The principals all say, 'it's really good what you're doing, but our kids don't go to the beach very often'. I say, 'that's exactly why you need it'."
The YouTube video has since racked up almost 300,000 views.
Such educational efforts have been linked to a dramatic spike in the number of people who can spot a rip, up from about 20 per cent to more than 80 per cent according to a survey by Surf Life Saving Australia.
"No-one's really been teaching people specifically about rips until the last five or 10 years," Dr Rip said.
"Most adults have never really had formal education about them in school. It's only if you've been a surfer or in a surf club that you know what rips are or experience them first hand."
Tomorrow, Dr Rip will release a harmless purple dye into the ocean at Towradgi Surf Club as part of a lesson in how to detect a rip. It will be a calmer exercise than a lot of his work, which in the past has involved jumping into rip currents in order to monitor them, using a GPS.
A keen bodysurfer and lifeguard, he met his most powerful rip off the west coast of Auckland.
Five kilometres from shore, unable to see the beach, he said he realised the irrelevance of the debate about whether to swim parallel to the beach or stay afloat. He favours prevention, but says he has advised his own children to relax, stay afloat and signal for help should that fail.
Dr Rip's free Science of the Surf talk is at Towradgi Surf Club tomorrow from 11am to midday.
Dr Brander's video - www.illawarramercury.com.au